In DepthBiomedicine

How ApoE4 endangers brains

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Science  22 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6357, pp. 1224
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6357.1224

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Since 1993, when the apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) genetic variant was found to multiply the risk of the most common form of Alzheimer's disease as much as fourfold, researchers have probed its connections to the protein fragment β-amyloid, the dominant suspect for the cause of the illness. This week, however, a new study showed that ApoE4's most toxic effects may result from a damaging immune response to a different protein, tau. The study shifts the terms of an old debate over whether Alzheimer's disease treatments should focus on tau or amyloid, by suggesting both could be targeted through ApoE4.